720 Golden Ridge Road · Golden, CO 80401 · 303-279-5077 · Mon-Sat 630am - 630pm · Sun Closed
Showing posts with label COFFEE EDUCATION. Show all posts
Showing posts with label COFFEE EDUCATION. Show all posts

Second Espresso!

Quick espresso lesson! Espresso is involved. Even the word can refer to:

 - A brew method: essentially, coffee brewed under pressure yielding a concentrate.
 - A roasting style: meant to accentuate the body of the coffee, often darker-roasted.
 - Beans: a blend, or a single-origin coffee meant to be used in an espresso machine.
 - A grind setting: an itty-bitty grind-size.
 - A beverage: at our shop, just under two ounces in a three ounce cup.
 - Awesomeness. Yes, awesomeness.

Since opening, we've exclusively used Espresso Novo - a blend of coffees from Ethiopia, Panama & Columbia designed and roasted for use in espresso machines by Novo Coffee - to craft all our caffeinated espresso beverages at Bean Fosters (lattes, cappuccinos, cortados, americanos, etc). We love Espresso Novo around here, because its dependably awesome, and it gets along well with any sweeteners and milk options. It's extremely versatile and friendly and we plan on using it as our default for a long, long time.

Three grinders! And The Beast.

However, we love sharing flavor, and there are LOTS of coffees out there that taste delicious when brewed as espresso. So we're excited to announce the beginning of Secondary Espresso options at Bean Fosters -- a different set of coffee beans! Our secondary espresso will change periodically, allowing regular customers to experience a broad range of espresso options from our shop. For instance, we just ordered our first batch of single-origin Ethiopia Anyetsu Espresso, which promises a sweeter, fruit-forward espresso experience! At other times we may offer a nutty Central or South American espresso in contrast.

Just some new tasty options for you to be aware of! If you love the taste of your everyday beverages, our usual Espresso Novo will always be here for you. If you're feeling a bit on the wild side, embark on the adventure of secondary espresso with us!

Coffee: Single Origin or Blend?

Over the last 20 weeks at Bean Fosters, we've cycled through 16 different single-origin coffees on brew.

This week, however, we will be brewing Novo Holiday Blend v10, which will be the first blend we've brewed yet! (Well, our espresso is a blend too... We'll get to that...) It's seasonal with notes of chocolate and cranberry, it's balanced and quite delicious - we're pretty certain you're going to love it and we'll be french pressing it up through Christmas. And it happens to be Shana's favorite coffee thus far!

That said, what is the difference between a single origin coffee and a blend anyway? Well here's a lengthy explanation!

Single origin: Single origin can mean a lot of things: some coffee roasters treat it as broadly as mixing beans from anywhere in a region (not even within one country necessarily), or as specifically as roasting beans uniformly from one processed lot of beans from one estate's collection in one country.

The roasted beans we get from Novo Coffee are pretty specific, and here's why that matters to us: Nacimiento, the coffee we've brewed this last week, is a washed coffee from the Araujo Guerra family coffee estate in El Salvador. Mundani, which we brewed two weeks ago, is also a washed coffee from the Araujo Guerra family in El Salvador. El Salvador is not a big country, and both coffees have been processed the same way, (and happen to have very similar roasting profiles) yet because the coffees represent different varietals (still arabica coffee beans, think even more specific than that!) from slightly different locations, the two taste markedly different from each other. (http://www.novocoffee.com/coffee/central-america)

So, if you imagine every location that grows coffee, and all the varietals, processing methods, and roasting profiles available at those locations, there's a lot of flavor out there. And because of the sourcing transparency of a single-origin coffee, there's a lot of appeal for single-origin coffees both in educating customers about coffee flavors (regions and processing methods often share qualities) and in understanding the trade process. You know exactly what you're getting and where it's from.

Coffee blends: In contrast, coffee blends can be used to intentionally seek a certain flavor profile. For instance, we find customers prefer consistency in their espresso beverages - they would not appreciate changing espresso every couple weeks without a consistent option available - so we use Novo Espresso for our espresso machine. Novo Espresso is a blend of several coffees that provides a similar flavor year-round  in a world of fresh, seasonal coffee. (The blend does change, but very few people notice when it does.)

The holiday blend is special as well, which is why we're brewing it. It mixes Nacimiento with Ojo Natural - a sun-dried coffee from the Hartmann Estate in Panama. The two combined bring out a full-bodied chocolate cranberry flavor that is seasonally appreciated. So we'll be gleefully brewing it from now through Christmas (give or take a few days) and returning to our single-origin coffees afterwards!

Pour Over Methods

Our pour-over setup, during the blooming phase with a Hario V60

Pour over brewing is spreading fast. It guarantees for less coffee being dumped down a drain, allows customers the opportunity to choose from available beans, and it also provides a guaranteed fresh, individually brewed, cup to the customer. But with pour-over bars popping up everywhere - from the grocery stores and college campuses to local specialty shops - there is a great disparity in the quality of the final product. Here are some quick reasons some pour-overs - whether at home or at the espresso bar - taste better than others:

Is the filter and brewing apparatus pre-rinsed? Rinsing with hot water both removes potential papery taste from your coffee as well as pre-warming the apparatus, providing for less heat loss. Many shops do it. Many do not.

Coffee and water: by mass or volume? Depending on the origin and the roast and even the amount of time since roasting date, different coffees have different densities. If the beans are measured by volume, then brew strengths are going to be inconsistent depending on the coffee. Some shops use scoops to measure coffee, others use scales.

Even extraction? Our brand new coffee brewer - which we're quite impressed with - pre-infuses the grounds (we'll get to that: next section), evenly sprays water across the grounds during the brew cycle (as opposed to dumping a single stream over them, as many brewers still do) and brews in pulses to allow the brew basket to drain before continuing to dump water into it. We brew with it and trust it because it does the same work we do when we brew a pour-over: no grounds are left dry, all grounds are ideally extracted and it tastes awesome. Like a bad coffee brewer, many pour-over bars involve dumping the entire volume of water over the grounds and walking off to perform other tasks. Good pour-overs require near-constant attention to evenly extract the flavor out of the entire bed of grounds.

Pre-infusion? Fresh coffee expands rapidly upon contact with water, as chemicals react with it. Good pour-overs have a "blooming" phase in which an initial amount of water is absorbed into the coffee before brewing begins, so the expansion does not compete with the brewing process, and so that the coffee is pre-saturated with water, allowing for less agitation during the brewing process. With older coffee this does not apply quite as well, which gives you two reasons to look for this step.

Blending? Coffee extraction is an uneven process. The initial water that passes through the grounds is visibly less potent than the drips at the end of the process. (It starts off light-colored and ends up dark, right?) To blend the uneven extraction, the coffee should be poured from one vessel into your cup, so the initial tastes are not so bitter.

Do other variations matter? Sure. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just different. Here are some varying pour-over methods to compare:

http://vimeo.com/user12742198/hariov60 - Non-traditional professional method used by 2012 World Brewer's Cup Champion, Matt Perger
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu6nmvM6Z3k - A showcase of when Starbucks rolled out their pour over method two years ago
http://vimeo.com/11181154 - A demonstration of when Intelligentsia transitioned to pour over brewing at their second location

What's a Chemex?

A filter really... And a nifty bottle-necked glass container. The filter is very thick and provides a uniquely crisp and sweet tasting cup. You can brew up to about 40 oz in it, which makes it a good system of hand-brewed coffee for multiple people. It's also the least requested brewing method at Bean Fosters, so I found this energetic video to get you more excited about it. The music is nice and catchy as well... Enjoy!


Good Thoughts From Arizona

Here's a neat video. I've watched it four times in three days. Good thoughts when opening a coffee shop. - Truett